Now that we’ve passed the All-Star break, we are moving into the unofficial second half of the season. Some players are renowned for their second-half surges, yet some are infamous for falling apart in the dog days. I’ve taken the liberty of breaking the Phillies’ starters into three categories…
SELL HIGH: Players who have historically proven a disappointing second half
- Ben Revere sees his average drop 33 points after the first half as well as a decrease in just about every other fantasy stat.
- Chase Utley experiences a drop in offensive production in the second half, most drastically in slugging percentage.
ON THE FENCE: Players who haven’t proved enough to predict an increase or decrease in performance
- Cody Asche in his limited major league experience has slightly lower numbers in the second half.
- Domonic Brown in a small sample size sees an uncommonly big drop in power in the second half, but fairly even numbers elsewhere.
- Marlon Byrd has better second half numbers, but not by a substantial amount.
BUY LOW: Players who have historically proven a significant increase in production in the second half
- Carlos Ruiz sees an increase in each sector of the triple-slash line: batting average, on-base percentage, and especially slugging percentage.
- Ryan Howard, despite his numbers being down this season, should see a large increase in offensive production, although most likely not enough to see typical end-of-year Ryan Howard numbers.
- Jimmy Rollins experiences a surge in the second half of seasons particularly in power.
Phillies RF Marlon Byrd with his .274 average, 8 homeruns, and 32 RBIs through his first 55 games is proving to doubters that his 2-year/$16 million contract wasn’t totally outrageous. Byrd is off to a hot start with his triple-slash line of .274/.330/.476 as compared to his career .262/.316/.389 through May.
Although Byrd is already off to a better than usual start, we have yet to experience the months in which he thrives most. Byrd’s career average in June and July is over 30 points higher than in the first two months of the season. His career OBP and SLG are also significantly higher after May as well. In fact, April and May are the only two months in which Byrd hits below .280, and April is the only month in which he slugs below .400.
Byrd’s best numbers come in June and July, but he doesn’t slack in the dog days of August or September either. Seeing how Byrd traditionally hits considerably better in the coming months than the months we’ve experienced thus far, it may be a good idea to buy low.
We know Byrd’s numbers are going to increase, especially in these summer months, but even in the fall. Byrd is available as a free agent in about 30% of leagues. If you’re looking for a right fielder, I suggest grabbing Byrd while he’s cheap and before he really heats up.
Marlon Byrd has been producing at the plate for the Phillies this year.
Analysis: The twelve year veteran has homered in consecutive games and now has 4 bombs this season. Last year Byrd set a career high in home runs with 24 as a thirty-five/six year old. However, the home runs are not Byrd’s biggest asset. Byrd has 20 runs batted in thus far which is 15th in all of baseball. We may be early in the season but he is on track for 100 plus ribbies which is not a stretch considering he is hitting behind high OBP guys like Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.
Byrd’s strikeout rate of 28% this year is a bit of a concern but over the last year he’s been hacking a lot more in search of the long ball. His swing percentage is at an all time high(58%) and his contact rate is at an all time low(72%). It appears at the advanced age of thirty-five/thirty-six that Byrd has successfully transitioned from a respectable major league hitter to a slugger.
Marlon Byrd is available in 50-65% of fantasy leagues.
Marlon Byrd is one of the hottest outfielders on the wire at the moment.
Analysis: Byrd has 15 home runs which is the 12th most in the National League this year but don’t count on his power going forward. Byrd has only hit more than 15 home runs in a season just once in his twelve year career. His career HR/FB rate is 9.1% yet it has skyrocketed to 19.7% this year. Byrd’s 51 runs batted in rank 16th in the National League but aside from his power numbers he isn’t contributing in other fantasy categories. His average is just .271 and he’s striking out at a career high 28% clip.
Marlon Byrd is currently available in 40-60% of fantasy leagues. He does have 3 home runs, 11 RBI and 8 runs over his last ten games which is why he is hot on the wire. Obviously his stock is on the rise but his power numbers will start to taper off soon. If you’re in to cashing out when value is maxed then it’s time to sell Marlon Byrd before his power numbers take a hit. All signs point to selling and selling now.